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Chase Freedom Unlimited® review: Versatility and value for everyday spenders

From generous rewards to flexible redemption options, this card offers great value for no annual fee

 /  12 min
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Bankrate rating
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Bottom line

An all-time favorite, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card for just about anyone because it comes with a lot to love without many added fees or strings attached. Plus, the card’s revamped rewards, including boosted cash back during your first year, gives consumers more bang for their buck.

Image of Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Rewards rate

1.5% - 5%

Annual fee

Intro offer


Chase Freedom Unlimited®* Overview

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has long been a favorite among fans of cash back credit cards. The card’s rewards program can be highly rewarding for cardholders who take advantage of the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, use Lyft and make frequent dining and drugstore purchases. Along with the card’s boosted flat rate on general purchases and valuable perks, like travel protections and DoorDash DashPass, travelers and cash back enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to.

You’ll need excellent credit to qualify or prequalify for the card. Although it offers a solid cash back rate, you’ll get the most value out of your rewards when you pair the Freedom Unlimited with a higher-tier Chase travel credit card.

What are the pros and cons?


  • Checkmark

    This cards elevated flat rate combined with boosted rates in key purchasing categories makes it a top-earner for anyone.

  • Checkmark

    Introductory APR offers make this a solid choice for people carrying card debt or who have some new purchases coming up.

  • Checkmark

    There's great benefits for a no-annual fee-card, including travel cancellation/interruption insurance and complimentary DoorDash DashPass.


  • This card’s intro APR offer periods are not as long as you can find on other cash back or rewards cards.

  • Though generous, the card’s regular 1.5 percent flat cash back rate on general purchases is lower than you can find on another flat-rate card.

  • Unlike other top rewards cards, you could get hit with a penalty APR of up to 29.99 percent if you make a late payment, which could last indefinitely.

A deeper look into the current card offer

Quick highlights

  • Rewards Rate: 5 percent cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025); 5 percent cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3 percent cash back on dining; 3 percent cash back on drugstore purchases; 1.5 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • Welcome Offer: Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Purchase Intro APR: 0 percent for 15 months
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR: 0 percent for 15 months (Intro Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3 percent of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days)
  • Regular APR: 20.49 percent to 29.24 percent (variable)

Current welcome offer

This card offers a relatively low welcome offer. You earn $200 after you spend $500 in the first three months. However, while the welcome offer could be more competitive, it is easily attainable. Similar cards offer the same welcome offer bonus with a larger spend requirement.


Bankrate Insight

Bankrate’s CardMatch tool may provide personalized offers you can’t get through the issuer for some cards, but applying directly through the issuer may present other offers. It always pays to do your research and decide which potential offer matches your spending habits.

Rewards rate

The Chase Freedom Unlimited stands out as one of the most valuable no annual fee cash back cards on the market. It earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be redeemed for cash back at a 1:1 rate. This also makes the Freedom Unlimited uniquely valuable as a beginner’s rewards credit card if you’re looking to travel with a premium Chase card down the road.

How you earn

If you’re new to credit cards and aren’t sure you’re ready for a premium rewards card, the Freedom Unlimited gives you the opportunity to start building a points balance with no annual fee.

The Freedom Unlimited earns 5 percent cash back on all travel purchased via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and on Lyft purchases (through March 2025), 3 percent back on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery purchases) and 3 percent back at drugstores. Those bonus categories are in addition to the unlimited 1.5 percent cash back the card earns on all other purchases.

The combination of a solid cash back rate and bonus cash back rates in multiple categories places the Freedom Unlimited among the best no annual fee credit cards, especially if you only want to carry one card in your wallet. If you’re looking for maximum value, the 5 percent cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal is the only standout rate.

While the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great option if you want one card to do it all, other rewards cards can bring in a higher rate of cash back for dining purchases. A number of cards, like the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card, earn more points in more everyday categories. The Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5 percent flat rate for general purchases is also slightly lower than you’ll find on some other flat-rate rewards cards. If you aren’t saving Chase points to redeem using a premium Chase travel card later on, other cash back cards could provide better value right now if you don’t mind holding more than one card.

How to redeem

The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers a variety of redemption choices. You can opt for cash back in the form of a statement credit or direct deposit, redeem for travel or gift cards or shop online at Like many other credit cards, you can also redeem your rewards for charitable contributions (which currently have a 25 percent boost in value).

You can also combine your rewards with a premium Ultimate Rewards card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card to enjoy additional flexibility, such as the ability to transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s transfer partners at a 1:1 ratio.

How much are the rewards worth?

The value of Chase Freedom Unlimited rewards will vary depending on how you choose to redeem them. Here’s a look at the average value of each point with each redemption method:

  • Cash back (statement credit or deposit): 1 cent
  • Travel: 1 cent
  • Gift cards: 1 cent
  • Apple purchases: 1 cent
  • purchases: 0.8 cents
  • Charitable contributions: 1.25 cents

If you have a premium Ultimate Rewards card, you can get even more value out of your points. Combine your rewards with the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred cards and redeem for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal to enjoy a boosted value of 1.25 cents per point. It’s even better with the Sapphire Reserve, as your points are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Other cardholder perks

While the Chase Freedom Unlimited card’s perks can’t compete with those on a luxury travel card like the Sapphire Reserve, the card still offers a number of quality consumer benefits that are stellar for a no annual fee card. Here are a few standouts:

Complimentary DashPass subscription

DashPass is a subscription service from the popular food delivery company, DoorDash, that gets you unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee on orders over $12. The Freedom Unlimited comes with three months of free DashPass membership, after which — if you don’t cancel beforehand — you’re automatically enrolled in DashPass for 50 percent off the monthly rate (typically $9.99 per month) for the next nine months. Make sure you’re eligible by activating before Dec. 31, 2024.

Purchase protection and extended warranty coverage

If something you bought with the card is damaged or stolen within 120 days of your purchase, the Freedom Unlimited covers the cost up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. Plus, eligible U.S. manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less on items you purchase with the card are extended by a year.

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance are prized perks when travel looks uncertain. What’s more, you typically only find this level of coverage with travel cards carrying a hefty annual fee. If your trip is canceled or cut short due to sickness, severe weather or other covered circumstances, you can be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for prepaid tickets and non-refundable passenger fares.

Rates and fees

Luckily, the Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t charge many fees, assuming you pay your balance on time and in full each month. If you don’t use the card abroad and don’t make balance transfers after the introductory period, it costs nothing to carry and use the card.

  • Annual fee: The Freedom Unlimited makes for a great all-purpose rewards card because with no annual fee to factor in, you won’t have to worry about whether the card’s perks or rewards justify its cost.
  • Interest rates: The Freedom Unlimited offers a fairly wide range of potential interest rates. Depending on your credit history, you’ll be assigned a variable APR between 20.49 percent to 29.24 percent. While the low end is a bit lower than the current average credit card interest rate, the high end is much higher than the average APR.
  • Intro APR: The Freedom Unlimited doubles as a solid zero-interest card with a respectable 15-month 0 percent intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers (the ongoing variable APR begins afterward).
  • Foreign transaction fee: One of the most glaring negatives of the Freedom Unlimited is its foreign transaction fee. If you use the card abroad, you’ll be charged an additional 3 percent of the purchase amount for each transaction. If you frequently travel internationally, you’ll want to use a no-foreign-transaction-fee credit card.
  • Balance transfer fee: If you take advantage of the Freedom Unlimited’s introductory APR on balance transfers, you’ll take on an introductory balance transfer fee of 3 percent or $5, whichever is greater. This fee is pretty standard, but you should act quickly. Waiting to transfer any balances to the Freedom Unlimited after your first 60 days will incur the card’s regular 5 percent balance transfer fee ($5 minimum).
  • Penalty APR: Like many cards issued by Chase, the Freedom Unlimited could hit you with a 29.99 percent penalty APR if you make a late payment, which could last indefinitely.

First-year card value vs. ongoing value

Although the Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t come with as many valuable perks or credits as Chase’s premium cards, its bonus categories still provide considerable value beyond the weight of your first year’s intro offers. The Freedom Unlimited can rake in more rewards than flat-rate cash back cards. By our estimates, an average spender in a typical year with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card could earn around $318, while that spender with the Freedom Unlimited could collect about $325 on the same budget, with typical estimated expenses.

Benefits and Costs First-year value Ongoing value (no welcome offers)
Yearly rewards* +$325 +$325
Welcome offers +$200 (earned after you spend $500 in the first three months) N/A
Perks (of monetary value) +$74.92 (DoorDash DashPass offer) N/A
Annual fee -$0 -$0
Total value $599.92 $325

*Based on the average cardholder’s estimated $15,900 yearly spend, with consideration for expenditures in the card’s key rewards categories of travel ($1,300), dining ($2,100), drugstores ($600) and all other purchases ($11,900).

You can stretch your value even further with a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card like the Sapphire Reserve. The Reserve card’s 50 percent bonus redemption value can turn your $325 of cash back with the Freedom Unlimited into approximately $487 toward travel through Chase’s portal. You'd earn about $162 of additional cash back, an excellent value considering there is no annual fee. However, if you’re using this strategy you will have to pay the Sapphire Reserve card’s $550 annual fee.

We tried it: Here’s what our experts say

Bankrate credit cards editor Kaitlyn Tang uses the Chase Freedom Unlimited as a staple card in her rewards strategy, thanks to the excellent bonus categories and reward redemption value:

“I like the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s multiple fixed bonus categories, which are pretty broad, so it earns bonus rewards on a variety of different kinds of purchases. I pair this card with my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. The reason I like this pair is because it’s so easy to transfer points from the Freedom Unlimited to the Sapphire Preferred, and then I can redeem the points with a 25-percent value boost on travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

I primarily use the Sapphire Preferred for travel, dining, streaming services and any big-ticket items — like a new phone — in case I need to use the card’s purchase protection or extended warranty protection. Every other kind of purchase I put on my Freedom Unlimited. I think the Freedom Unlimited’s 3 percent foreign transaction fee works to its disadvantage because, even though it works so well as a travel card in other regards, there’s little incentive for you to use it while you’re abroad.”

— Kaitlyn Tang, Editor at Bankrate

How the Chase Freedom Unlimited compares to other cash back cards

A lot of cash back credit cards are on the market today, and most cards in this niche do not charge an annual fee. However, some cards stand out due to the numerous benefits they offer or for their lucrative initial bonuses.

Image of Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Annual fee


Intro offer

Earn a $200 bonus

Rewards rate

1.5% - 5%

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Image of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Intro offer

Earn $250

Rewards rate

1% - 6%

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Image of Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

Annual fee


Intro offer


Rewards rate


Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express

The Chase Freedom Unlimited competes well against the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express, especially during its first year with boosted rewards rates.

Although the Blue Cash Preferred has the edge on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, for U.S. streaming subscriptions and at U.S. gas stations, the Freedom Unlimited card wins in the categories of dining and drugstore purchases. If you mainly buy groceries instead of dining out, you might want to lean on the Blue Cash Preferred card’s favorable 6 percent cash back rate for purchases at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1 percent). The Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5 percent cash back rate falls short in this category.

The biggest drawback on the Blue Cash Preferred card is its $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year). If you spend modestly with your credit card, you could struggle to offset any annual fee with cash back earnings. However, Blue Cash Preferred cardholders can easily offset the fee if they take advantage of premium perks, like the Disney Bundle streaming credit valued at $84, among others.

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Citi® Double Cash Card

If you don’t want to worry about weighing your spending in tiered categories, a flat-rate cash back card may be the solution. The Citi Double Cash card comes with no annual fee and offers 2 percent cash back on all purchases (1 percent as you buy, 1 percent when you pay for your purchase). This earning method is handy if you don’t want to worry about making the most of certain categories, find that you spend an even amount in several categories or make large purchases that aren’t included in any specific category.

Although earning 2 percent back on every purchase is simple and convenient, a card with boosted cash back rates in tiered categories can be more appealing to anyone who wants to earn the highest amount of rewards each year. That said, a 2 percent card like the Citi Double Cash can be a great complement to a card like the Freedom Unlimited, if used strategically.

Best cards to pair with the Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited will pair nicely with any number of rewards credit cards. You can maximize the amount of rewards you earn by adding a cash back card to your wallet that offers bonus rewards in areas the Freedom Unlimited doesn’t cover. For example, consider pairing the Freedom Unlimited with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express if you’d like to earn a higher rate of cash back on purchases made at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and at U.S.-based online retailers.

Travelers may want to consider pairing this card with another premier Chase credit card — particularly the Sapphire Reserve or Preferred. You can pool all your points in one Chase Ultimate Rewards account for maximum redemption value and can even pool points with a spouse or partner who lives at the same address, as well as with any Chase business credit card accounts you might have.

Pairing with the Reserve or Preferred also gives you the option of transferring points to popular Chase airline and hotel partners like Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, British Airways, Marriott Bonvoy and IHG Rewards.

As a reminder, if you have both the Freedom Unlimited and Reserve, you can enjoy extra value when you redeem points for travel through the Chase portal (with the Reserve offering a 50 percent higher point value when you redeem this way — the Preferred offers a 25 percent boost).


Bankrate Insight

Rather than choosing to pair the Freedom Unlimited with either the Freedom Flex or the Sapphire Reserve, we also recommend using all three together. In fact, this combo won the “Best credit cards for stacking” title in our 2022 Bankrate Awards rankings.

Bankrate’s Take — Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited worth it?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited could be an exceptional deal for anyone who spends in its top categories or plans to spend a lot in the first year they hold the card. It’s hard to beat the card’s ongoing rewards, particularly given that most cards that offer bonus cash back in specific spending categories offer just 1 percent back on general purchases.

Plus, the benefits are excellent for what you typically find among no-annual-fee cards. Trip cancellation/interruption insurance is a staple among premium travel cards, which gives the Freedom Unlimited card great ongoing value beyond its stellar first-year potential. With plenty of options for redeeming your rewards, whether you prefer cash back or travel, the Freedom Unlimited positions itself as a great all-around card.

The information about the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.


Frequently asked questions

Written by
India Davis
Editor, Credit Cards

India Davis is an editor specializing in credit cards and updates. She believes in putting the reader first and carrying out a brand’s voice to its fullest potential. She has lived and worked in three different countries and hopes to explore more of the world post-pandemic.

Edited by Senior Editor, Credit Cards
Reviewed by Former Editor, credit cards

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.